Defenseman Ben Chiarot Latest Red Wings Player Sidelined By Injury

The Detroit Red Wings’ injury situation is getting worse, not better. Coach Derek Lalonde said Thursday that defender Ben Chiarot has an upper body injury and “could possibly even be in that range from week to week”.

“We’ll see him before the season is over, but he’s been busy for a while now,” Lalonde said. “He will not be available on Saturday.”

The Red Wings’ next game is a Saturday (1 p.m.) matinee game at home against the Colorado Avalanche.

Robby Fabbri did some light skating today. “Closer,” Lalonde said. “But again, I think the immediate reaction was that we were going to be really, really conservative and cautious about it, and probably we’re going to keep that approach.”

A decision has not yet been made as to whether one or more players will be called up by the Grand Rapids Griffins. They’re playing in Cleveland tonight.

“I think we’ll see where the dust settles tomorrow, what we have for training and we’ll know what we need for Saturday,” said Lalonde.

Chiarot is a left-footed defender who has played on the right flank. Moritz Seider and Gus Lindstrom are the only other right-footed defenders in the squad. If the Red Wings call up a D-man from Grand Rapids, a right shot would be the logical choice. The Red Wings’ top defensemen in Grand Rapids, Simon Edvinsson and Albert Johansson, are both left-footed defensemen.

Forwards Austin Czarnik and Matt Luff returned to Grand Rapids on Wednesday. One of them could also be brought back for Saturday’s game.

Red Wings could call up forwards and defenders

Chiarot switched to the right after right-footed defender Filip Hronek was traded before the March 3 deadline. Lalonde said he likes how Chiarot played at his opponent’s side.

“(But) it’s hard,” Lalonde said. “You can see these guys need to get their feet around things by hand and how it puts them in awkward situations. Benny took a few hits over it…that’s exactly why you like righties and lefties, but for the most part they’re good. You follow the rest of our team. They defend in the right way, they don’t flip pucks, the puck moves north so it was a good look for these guys.

The Chiarot injury disrupts the consistency the Red Wings have received from their two best pairings. Moritz Seider and Jake Walman work well together and Olli Maatta and Chiarot have integrated well. The Red Wings will miss the physical advantage the 232-pound Chiarot offers.

“We don’t have much of that,” Lalonde said. “We’re not built that way. We want to be as heavy as possible. Often when you see heavy in our game — a heavy hit in the D-Zone, a puck’s separation in the D-Zone — Benny is that guy on a lot of things. You obviously miss that body. A few moments into the season with him, sticking up for his teammates in Minnesota, stuff like that. Obviously he has the respect in the league. We will surely miss the big body.”


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